Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Exercise and Fitness

5 Desk Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

Guest Blogger: Patty Englebaugh

Carpal tunnel has quickly become a commonly known condition, as it affects many people between the ages of 30 and 60 who perform repetitive motions with their wrists. The carpal tunnel is the area where your nerves meet the palm of your hand. Those who suffer from this condition will start to feel a pain, tingling, or even numbness in that area.

If you’re someone who works in an office and uses a keyboard all day, you’re more at risk for developing carpal tunnel. But luckily, there are a few exercises you can do to prevent the onset of the condition – or minimize the symptoms if you’re already experiencing them. Let’s dig right in:

Correct your posture: Believe it or not, slouching often can actually lead to complications in the hands and wrist. Before we start these exercises, you should first make sure that you’re sitting up straight with your feet steady on the floor. If you’re smaller in stature, consider getting a footstool for underneath your desk.

Wrist/forearm stretch: Place the palm of your right hand on the wall or side of a cubicle (anything that’s a steady surface) and spread your fingers apart so they rest at a comfortable distance. Push your palm into the wall while extending your elbow, and turn your head to the left. As you’re doing that, bring the tip of your right shoulder blade toward the wall and hold the pose. Breathe deeply for 10 seconds, release, and repeat on the other side.

Hand stretch: This pose can be done either seated or while standing up. Extend your arms out in front of you and hold your palms flat (pretend like you’re in a handstand position). Hold this pose for 10 seconds, then make your hands into fists and point them toward the ground. You should feel a stretch in the top of your wrists. Hold this for 10 seconds as well and repeat both five times total.

Finger stretch: Place your hands in front of you so your fingers are just touching the edge of your desk. While keeping your wrists straight, push onto the desk and hold for 5 seconds. Do this one at a time with each finger, and finally with your thumb. This is an easy one that can be done many times each day, as soon as you feel your hands getting tired.

Thumb stretch: Place your right hand on the desk with your palm facing down. Reach with your left hand to grab the thumb and extend it away from the body. Stretch to a distance that feels comfortable, hold a few breaths, and release. Repeat with the other hand and aim to do a set of five.

These five easy exercises can be done from the comfort of your own desk and can help prevent carpal tunnel from taking over your daily activities.

You can find more information and helpful tips on at-desk yoga in this resource guide:


About the Author

Patty Englebaugh founded in 1993. She has 19 years of experience installing ergonomic office furniture and computer accessories that create healthy work environments in home and corporate offices as well as in the healthcare, education, government, and business sectors. Call her today (Mon-Fri 8-6pm EST) for one-on-one support for your ergonomic needs: (877) 971-0151.

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